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When Russell Westbrook decided to stay in Oklahoma City, he instantly became one of the leading candidates to win NBA MVP in 2016-17.  Here's one set of current Vegas odds for the award:


How about The Little Guy (as Tommy Heinsohn affectionately calls him), tied for the 19th-best bet out there!  If I happened to live somewhere with legal sports books, I'd be tempted to plunk down $20 on Isaiah at 66/1.  Here's how I could* see it happening:

1.  Curry and Durant put up identical stats, split votes and cancel each other out.

2.  LeBron gets hurt and misses the second half of the season.

3.  The Thunder are a disaster with Westbrook taking 45 shots a game.  Even though he averages a 35-10-10 triple-double, his club is below .500 and voters refuse to give any credit to his obscene numbers.

Now that the four heavy favorites are out of the way, it's really anybody's award to win.

4.  With LeBron injured, Boston gets the No. 1 seed in the East.

5.  Al Horford meshes perfectly and the Celtics are awesome.  They are also very deep.  Brad Stevens employs an 11 or 12 man rotation most nights in order to "fly around," with nobody outside of Thomas and Horford playing more than 25 minutes per game.

6.  Isaiah averages 26-5-9 and finishes fourth in the league in scoring behind Westbrook (35 PPG) and Curry/Durant (27 PPG).

7.  The C's win 58 games, Thomas is NBA MVP.

Individually, none of these seven steps actually seem that far-fetched--it's the combination of all of them that makes it fantasy rather than reality.


* Please keep in mind it's August, there's nothing going on, and this is an entirely fictitious dream scenario.



Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan

Mark Van Deusen 8/05/2016 07:57:00 AM Edit
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